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OCEANS'13 San Diego

OCEANS'13 San Diego, based on the theme 'An Ocean in Common,' brought together engineers, scientists, students, retirees, military personnel and industry leaders from all over the world, plus 15 societies, for four days of intensive meetings and fun events.

'We had over 2,000 attendees of all types from 35 countries, with over 1,000 people attending the gala on the aircraft carrier USS Midway' Conference Chairman Robert Wernli, of San Diego, California-based First Centurion Enterprises, said.

'Thanks to the local Team OCEANS, we created the event we imagined,' said Co-Chair Kevin Hardy.

The conference celebrated the 50th anniversaries of both the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and Compass Publications Inc.'s Sea Technology magazine.

Dr. Catherine Constable, honorary co-chairwoman/academia and interim director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, provided the introduction at the opening plenary session, joining University of California, San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, NOAA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research Craig McLean, Chevron Energy Technology Co. DeepStar Director Dr. Greg Kusinski and DOER Marine President Liz Taylor.

'The conference sold out our two exhibit halls, filling them with the latest in marine technology,' reported Exhibits Chair Brock Rosenthal, of La Jolla, California-based Ocean Innovations. 'They were packed with attendees throughout the three-day exhibition.'

The technical tracks were adjusted to provide large morning and afternoon breaks each day to allow attendees to visit the exhibit halls. Exhibits were open late Tuesday night for a cocktail party. Thursday lunch was held in the exhibit halls, bringing more attendees to the floors. A Harley-Davidson sweepstakes, organized by Arrangements Chair Leonard Pool, of San Diego-based SIDUS Solutions, kept people in the exhibit hall Thursday afternoon until the closing bell.

Vice Adm. Peter Hekman (U.S. Navy, retired), honorary co-chairman/defense, helped pass the word among local military organizations that personnel in uniform were welcome to attend the technical sessions at no cost, with the federal budget sequestration in mind.

Other highlights included a two-night underwater film festival and a Saturday teacher workshop.

Technical Program
The technical program featured more than 420 presentations in more than 56 technical areas, reported Technical Program Chair Barbara Fletcher, of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. Featured topics at this conference included ultradeep ocean science and technology, ocean gliders, and marine security and defense. In addition, there were 21 special sessions on topics ranging from ocean exploration to international business.

Tutorials Chair Bill Porto, of San Diego-based Natural Selection Inc., organized 11 successful tutorials, two of which were offsite 'TOURtorials.'

The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR)-supported student poster competition featured 18 posters, with more than $6,000 in prize money awarded, in addition to covering conference attendance for the participants.

Conference Awards
At the MTS Awards luncheon, people, companies and groups who have shown exemplary contributions to MTS or industry were recognized. The Society is especially honored to have the support of Compass Publications, Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, Maryland) and Ocean News & Technology in sponsoring these annual awards.

The Compass Distinguished Achievement Award and Rolex Submariner timepiece were presented to Captain Dennis (Mike) Egan (ret.), honoring his four-decade-plus service to both the public and private sectors.

The Compass International Award honored the Ocean Technology Branch—Innovation, Business & Rural Development, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador for developing and launching a strategic plan to accelerate activity among the business and educational communities, and was accepted by Darrell O'Neill.

The Compass Industrial Award recognized Shell Oil Co. (Houston, Texas) for advanced research and work on developing a unique application of subsea fiber-optic lines for acoustic and temperature sensing, and was presented to Ron Cramer on behalf of the company.

The Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering was presented to Liesl Hotaling in recognition of her work demonstrating that, through designing and operating sensor systems, children can learn complex and interrelated concepts.

The Ocean News & Technology Young Professional Award was presented to Ryan Morton, a member of the 'Next Generation' who has already demonstrated excellence in the profession and made significant contributions to MTS.

The MTS Outstanding Service Award was presented to Mark H. Bushnell.

The MTS Outstanding Section Award was presented to the Hampton Roads Section for its exceptional part in organizing OCEANS'12.

The MTS Outstanding Student Section Award was given to the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Lisa Medeiros and Sumanohar (Suman) Muddusetti were elevated to the stature of MTS Fellow, the highest accolade a member can receive within the Society.

At the IEEE-OES (Oceanic Engineering Society) Awards luncheon people, companies and IEEE-OES groups who have shown exemplary contributions to the Society or to industry were acknowledged.

The IEEE-OES's 2013 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Robert T. Bannon for establishing and furthering the objectives of OES by ensuring financial security and technical leadership through developing and chairing technical symposia and conferences in accordance with the OES Strategic Plan. As an IEEE fellow and distinguished lecturer, he set a standard for program participation, author guidelines, and speaker selection and evaluation.

The IEEE-OES's 2013 Distinguished Technical Achievement Award was presented to Gwyn Griffiths for his contribution at the highest level to oceanic engineering technology with his work on Doppler current profiling instrumentation and AUVs.

IEEE President René Garello recognized the service of Elizabeth Creed, vice president professional development; Diane DiMassa, treasurer; Robert Wernli, vice president conference development; Robert Bannon, ADCOM 2008 to 2013; Edward Gough, ADCOM 2011 to 2013; and Pamela Hurst, ADCOM 2008 to 2013.

The inaugural Oceans Conference Chairman's Award was presented to 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota) at the IEEE-OES Award luncheon. The award was given 'in recognition of their unique and ubiquitous products that have enabled and empowered ocean operations for science, industry and defense, at all latitudes, at all depths, and over long duration.' The audience joined in three cheers for 3M when 3M Global Business Manager Brad Blietz accepted the award.

Co-Participating Societies
Several Co-Participating Societies (CPS) that preferred a more informal approach to reporting their scientific advancements organized town hall meetings or poster sessions at the conference.

CPS Chair John Scanlon, of San Diego-based SeaBotix Inc., is working with the Joint Oceans Administrative Board to create a means to perpetuate the CPS as a way of expanding the market for the OCEANS conference. 'There are terrific advantages to the OCEANS conference series,' said Scanlon, 'including access to a greater pool of authors representing a wider array of subjects and a greater number of potential attendees.'

Conference Support
Scripps Institution, the academic host, assisted the conference with acquiring ONR funding to help bring students to the conference to participate in the student poster competition, and with conference publicity before and during the event.

IEEE's Meeting/Conference/Exhibition team provided vital backbone support to the conference. Special thanks to Todd Morrison, of Woods Hole, Massachusetts-based Nobska Development Inc., and Matthew Gelis, of Front Royal, Virginia-based Veraprise, for their great help with the conference registration, Internet operations and general advice. Gelis developed a new smartphone app that allowed attendees to schedule the specific talks they wanted to attend. He also organized webcasting three sessions per day, including the opening plenary.

The conference webmaster, Ed Vergera, of San Diego-based Athenx Inc., added numerous features to the website, including a repository of all press releases and ads for print and digital media, plus the countdown clock.

Oceans2013 graphic artist Kristin Hardy, of San Diego Home/Garden magazine, created the conference logo and all materials that used it, including numerous ads.

OCEANS'14/North America will take place in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. That committee was an active participant in planning OCEANS'13.

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.